Planning & Designing Session

Post Consultation:  gathering necessities

During your pre-session meet & greet we will go through a number of images to gather ideas on how you envision yourself being photographed.  Digging deeper, we will discover what resonates with you-soft and ethereal, bold and confident, or something sexy!


Pre-session consultations are required to book any session in our studio.  We ask that you do not bring guests or children to your consultation so that we can stay focused on YOU.


Consultations last about 1 hour, depending on how chatty we get, and are scheduled Tuesday and Thursdays in our studio.




After we have gathered initial ideas for your shoot, it's now time to begin mapping and designing the perfect poses and character of your session.


Now is the time to consider purchasing 

your own garments to make your photographs extra special.  


Consider borrowing gowns from family

and friends, shopping in vintage boutiques, or using 

to add a personalized touch to your 

portrait session.


To help us design your session, you 

can fill out our pre-session style

questionaire!  This will give us an even better idea of how you want to see yourself! 




Essential Under-Pinnings

- Nude Strapless bra + matching nude panty. (no show panties are preferred)

- White bra + matching panty


- Black  bra + matching panty

(these under garments are essential to your shoot, please make sure to bring all three tones)

-A pair of black closed toe stilettos  


- A pair of your favorite jeans, white tank top, black tank top, and any jackets/coats you love


- Spanx (we use these to hide panty lines under certain garments)

- A pair of slippers or flip flops to walk 

around the studio


- Any gowns, lingerie, or vintage items you

may have to make your session unique.


- Hair extentions (real hair only) -optional

Please let us know if you have any skin allergies prior to your session.





Please come to the studio the morning of your session with your skin completely clean and free of all cosmetics & moisturizers .  

Exfoliate your skin the morning of your shoot with granulated sugar and freshly

squeezed lemon.  


Do NOT tan or get a spray tan!

PLEASE avoid the sun for at least

3 weeks prior to your shoot.  


Please make sure you have 

your eyebrows groomed and 

any facial hair a few days before

your shoot.









You should arrive to the studio with

your hair clean and completely dry.  

Do not straighten your hair or put any product in your hair unless otherwise discussed during your consultation.


If you are considering making any changes to your hair, it's best to email us

and make sure that whatever changes you are making will still match how your session is designed.


Please make sure that your roots have 

been touched up prior to your shoot.










Hands play a very important role in your 

portraits. Nails should be neatly trimmed with no polish on toes or fingers.  


Don't paint them as we will ask you to remove the polish during hair & make up.







Practice makes perfect, a few suggestions to practice before your shoot!


Practice looking at yourself in the mirror and smiling with your eyes.  This is simply relaxing the mouth and using the bottom ocular muscle and lifting the bottom eye lid into a soft smile.  The mouth can remain closed or slightly open with the bottom lip dropped.  This will give you a bit of confidence when I show you how to do it in person during your session.

Ballet Hands:

Hands play a very prominent role in my photographs.  Practice relaxed "ballet" hands touching the outside parts of your body:  face, shoulders, and hips.  We want the hands to be relaxed and soft.


Practice putting your weight on one foot and kicking your hip out in the mirror on the weight bearing leg and crossing the opposite knee across the other.  This creates the perfect "S" curve in the body and creates a slimming effect.  Watch out for "tea potting" which is when your hip and opposite shoulder go different directions.  

What to expect and how to plan your day with Melody Smith Portrait

Hair & Make Up:


What to expect:

Your day will begin with professional hair & 

make up starting at 10:00 a.m.  Please arrive to the studio on time.  If you are more than 15 minutes late we will reschedule your

session for another day.  


Hair & make up will take place as you enjoy

a cocktail and snacks, and lasts about 2 hours.  

Food & Beverages:

During the day, you can enjoy mimosa's, wine, soft drinks, sparkling water, or regular water.  We also provide light snacks for you to munch on through out the afternoon.  If you have any dietary restrictions, please let us know so that we can provide you with items you will enjoy!

Around 11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. we will begin photographing your first look.  I will

photograph each look for about 15-20 minutes ensuring that we have captured multiple poses and expressions in each individual look.  


After your session we will schedule a Tuesday or Thursday for you to return to the studio for your reveal and ordering session.  This is the only time to view and purchase your photographs.

The posing and positions will feel awkward and often times uncomfortable.  My goal is to elongate your body and contour your shape with your arms and legs to create a 

longer, leaner shape with a lot of body language.  While you may feel uncomfortable, I will be directing you through a number of poses and talking you through each step of the process from your feet to your eye lashes.  I ensure every hair is perfectly placed, hands are elegant and your eyes are showing the light inside you!


Be prepared for a physical challenge, but trust that you are in the most capable hands!  I promise that you will look natural and relaxed even though the posing will feel opposite!

Studio etiquette and policies


Please do not bring guests to the studio for your session or reveal.  This is a day all about you and we want to avoid any distractions or awkward feelings during your session.  




Due to the nature of MSP, children are not allowed in the studio for your consultation, session, or reveal.  


MSP photographs children 8 years of age and older.  

Failure to make your appointment:

If you are unable to make your appointment, please give at least a 48 hours notice.  We allow one reschedule within 6 months of your scheduled appointment.  Session fees are non-refundable.  If you no-call no-show, your session fee is non-refundable and you will need to pay a second session fee to reserve your date and will be required to make a minimum purchase. 

Consultation Hours:  Tues. & Thurs. 10:30a - 3:30p  | Session Times:  M, W, F 10a |     Located at   3 N Sycamore St., Petersburg VA

by appointment only